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Kriya - Exercises for the Heart Center

(Located in the manual, Reaching Me in Me, Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan, pp. 17-18)

Cobra Pose. Begin by lying on the stomach. There are two ways to move into Cobra Pose. The classic way is to engage the hands under the shoulders with palms flat on the ground. The feet are together with the tops of the feet on the ground. Arch up with the upper body first. Pull the shoulders down and back. Then pull the head and heart up. If you are flexible, straighten the arms. Alternatively start out in Platform Pose and drop down into Cobra, gradually moving into the posture, even keeping the pelvis off the ground. If you are not very flexible keep the forearms on the ground like a sphinx or do not straighten the arms. Either way, stretch up across the abdomen and chest and away from the lower back.

Once in Cobra Pose, hold the position for 30 seconds. Then raise and lower the chin to chest 16 times.

This is to test your ability to withstand stress. 

Still in Cobra Pose. Bend your knees so that your feet are up by your head. Lift your hands alternately up to your shoulders. You should feel the stretch under your rib cage. 2 minutes.

Repeat Exercise #2. This time alternately raise and lower your entire arm. Raise one arm straight up, lower it and raise the other arm straight up and continue for 1 ½ minutes.

Lying on Stomach. Interlace your fingers behind your back, arch the upper body, and lift the arms as high as possible. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth as forcefully as you can. 2 minutes.

This powerful breath combined with the posture and movement can strengthen your spine and nervous system. 

Bow Pose. (Begin by lying on the stomach. Grab the ankles. Use the legs to raise the upper body. Ideally, try to get the toe joints together. The knees are a little bit apart. Use the legs to pull the arms and to lift the chest up.)

Rock back and forth on the stomach for 2 minutes.

This exercise can renew every tissue of the body when done correctly. 

Lying on the Back. Use your arms to hug your knees to your chest and rock back and forth on the spine. 1 minute.

Lying on the Back. Bring both legs up to 90 degrees. Keep your knees straight, toes pointed upward and the posture steady. Relax the rest of your body. 2 minutes.

Lying on the Back. Place your hands on the floor under your shoulders and arch your torso up, keeping your hips and legs on the floor. Stretch your toes forward. 2 ½ minutes.

This exercise is designed to give power to the heart muscle. 

Sit up with your legs stretched out in front. Catch hold of your toes (or whatever you can). Stretch forward from the heart and hold the position for 1 minute.

Crow Pose. (You may begin Crow Pose in a standing position. Squat on flat feet. Knees and feet are wide apart with heels flat on the ground. Apply neck lock. The back should be perpendicular to the ground. If you have difficulty keeping your balance, try widening the feet and knees more. If you can’t get the heels down, you may use something underneath your feet.)

Arms extended straight out in front while in Crow Pose. Raise and lower your arms up to 90 degrees. 2 minutes.

This exercise can save you from intestinal bloating in old age. 

Easy Pose. Sit peacefully in Easy Pose like a yogi. Keep your eyes open, inhaling and exhaling deeply. After 1 minute close your eyes and continue the breath. After 1 more minute, bring your mind to thoughtlessness. Continue in the thoughtless meditation for 3 ½ more minutes. Then begin to chant Chattr Chakkr Vartee for 6 minutes.

Meaning of Mantra:

Thou art pervading in all the four quarters of the universe,

Thou art the enjoyer in all the four quarters of the universe.

Thou art self-illumined and united with all.

Destroyer of bad times, embodiment of mercy.

Thou art ever within us.

Thou art the everlasting giver of undestroyable power.

Chattr Chakkr vartee, chattr chakkr bhugatay

Suyumbhav subhang, sarag daa sarab jugatay

Dukaalang pranassee, dayaalang, saroopay

Sadaa ang sangay, abhangang bibhootay. 

Comments: “All the exercises in this set work on the heart muscle and the heart center. They concentrate on one power of energy like a storehouse.”

Chattr Chakkr Vartee is the mantra for the heart center, it gives direct energy to it. When you are sinking, if you know this mantra and can sing it, you can totally recuperate yourself.” — Yogi Bhajan

Regarding this kriya, Yogi Bhajan said that you may extend the time for each of these exercises for 7 minutes to make the set complete. This length of practice will put you into a restful state of mind. You will want to sleep, so allow for this extra rest time when doing the extended version of the set.


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